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98-year-old Holocaust survivor explains why she'll never remove her Auschwitz tattoo

'I want to show the world. The world should know how deep they cut, how deep humans can go,' she said.

98-year-old Holocaust survivor explains why she'll never remove her Auschwitz tattoo
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Good Morning Britain

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 1, 2022. It has since been updated.

Lily Ebert, has devoted her life to educating the world about the antisemitic horrors she witnessed and endured during the Holocaust. After losing over 100 relatives—including her mother, brother, and sister—she has tirelessly worked to raise awareness about that dark period to ensure history never repeats itself. With the alarming rise of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, Ebert's mission became even more critical, leading her to seek a platform to amplify her voice. Her 18-year-old great-grandson, Dov Forman, had the solution: TikTok.


While the Holocaust might seem too heavy a topic for the popular social media app, Ebert quickly found a large audience—1.7 million followers within a year of posting her first video—with whom she shares the horrors of the Jewish ghettos and Auschwitz, where she was imprisoned for four months. Success on TikTok brought more attention to her cause and even led to a book she co-authored with her great-grandson, titled "Lily's Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live." Due to release in May this year, the book features a foreword written by none other than Prince Charles himself.


Ebert is also one of the seven Holocaust survivors who were chosen to be a part of the Prince of Wales' initiative to mark Holocaust Memorial Day this year. Charles, who is patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, commissioned seven acclaimed artists to create portraits of the seven survivors which are on display at an exhibition at Buckingham Palace from January 27 to February 13 and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from March 17 to June 6.


During a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain with Forman, Ebert discussed the "Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust" exhibition and other topics. One particular moment from the show made a great impact on viewers. When asked if she's ever thought about removing the number Nazis tattooed into her forearm, Ebert said: "No, I have never thought about having it removed. I want to show the world. Seeing something or to hear about it, it makes a big difference. The world should know how deep they cut, how deep humans can go. The fellow humans give a tattoo. You are not a human, you were not Lily Ebert anymore, you were a number. You wear a tattoo, you wear a number. Not more, not less."

"Another human can take away my humanity. They are not humans, not me," she added. During her appearance on the show, Ebert also spoke about why she's so passionate about telling people what had happened during the Holocaust. "My story today is never my story, it is the story really for the thousands, millions, who cannot talk. I am here to talk, I can do it because they are not here anymore. I have to do it, to talk about the millions who cannot talk anymore. They killed my mother, brother and sister and other millions of other innocent people," she said.

In a video posted last week for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ebert and Forman made a brief but powerful speech about the Holocaust. "The Holocaust was the biggest crime against humanity," Ebert said in the video, which has been viewed 1.2 million times in the past five days. "Never before were factories — factories — built for killing people. I was there in Auschwitz-Birkenau. I am a witness." With his arm around his great-grandmother, Forman then implored their followers to "become Lily's witness to the Holocaust," because "when you listen to a witness you become a witness." Ebert drove the message home, saying: "I am a witness and the world should never, ever forget the biggest crime against humanity."

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